Constitutional Expertise in Parliament – an Unused Resource?

As of the date of this post, Canada’s Parliament boasts three sitting members who are all experts in constitutional law. I do not know if we have ever had such a bounty of constitutional know-how in the House of Commons. But what is interesting to me is that our elected chamber has available to it some of the most eminent constitutional scholars that the country can offer at a time when the government consistently enacts or seeks to enact unconstitutional legislation. Part of the problem may be that one of the three sits as members of the Official Opposition (the New Democratic Party) and the other two sit as members of the Third Party (the Liberal Party of Canada).

Regrettably, it would appear that Parliament increasingly fails to pull upon the background and experience of its members and instead prefers to inhabit partisan space. In my opinion, if our legislative bodies drew upon and respected the knowledge of their members, our democracy would be much healthier and more balanced than it is now. Imagine how different things might be if the constitutional opinions of these members were sought and debated in Parliament.

So here are the three members, in alphabetical order of their last names, with photos either from the Parliament of Canada’s website or from their respective party’s website and information taken from their individual sites. (If I have missed any other constitutional lawyers sitting in Parliament, I apologize in advance).

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